Thursday, December 31, 2009

So this is the New Year...

Its New Year's Eve. And I don't have much to say. Its been quite a year--dare I say, the best year of my life. I love life. I love this life I live. I love this life I share.

Resolutions? Nah. I have a few goals. No resolutions. I do wanna record an EP. I've already talked to Nate about doing the cover art. We discussed some ideas last night. I've been tossing around the idea of titling it "The Monsters Aren't Under My Bed Anymore." Now I just need to finish my song selection and work on a place to record it.

I want to unplug from the consumeristic ways of life. I want to buy less and love more. I want to practice being less materialistic.

I want to continue to read lots of books and write lots of music.

I want to travel. Lots.

I want to get more tattoos. Lots.

I want to love my wife with wreckless abandon.

I want to love my family and friends well.

I want to love God with everything I have. I want to love my neighbor the same.

I want to live this life to the fullest.

Tomorrow is no different than today. Its just tomorrow. I hope I can face every day with open arms. Even on the days I struggle with why I do anything. Even on the days when the world is dark and my heart aches under the weight of it all. Even on the days when everything seems futile. Even on the days when humanity reveals the fall that we carry around in our chests.

"So this is the New Year--and I don't feel any different."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

However you choose to say it...

Happy Holidays.
Merry Christmas.
Feliz Navidad.
Happy Kwanzaa.
Happy Channukah.
Merry Xmas.

The wording isn't the important part to me.

This day, I celebrate incarnation and the hope that brings.

Grace and peace, friends.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Dogs...

This is Penelope Jane. I like her. She gets a little anxious when people enter the house, but other than that, we get along great. She's my favorite dog.

Then there's this dude:

Capo Hemingway. He's Brittany's dog. Don't get me wrong, I like him, too. He's very sweet and loving. Likes to be held. Needs very little exercise. Doesn't need to go out often. But he smells. And he licks everything all the time. However, I have grown accustomed to these things and learned to tolerate him.

But last week, all that changed. Capo decided to pee in my guitar gear bag. Not on it. In it. I left it on the floor Thursday, and when I opened it that evening, it smelled like piss and there was clearly yellow liquid all over some stuff in the front pouch. I called Brittany and told her to prepare herself--I was going to kill the dog or take him back to the Humane Society. She informed me I wasn't allowed to do either one.

He's at my feet right now. Looking around like he's confused. Wearing his red polo and licking the air. He's a weird, scraggly little dog. But I love him, even when I don't want to.

(He doesn't know he's not my favorite. So don't tell him.)

It makes me wonder how God feels when he looks at humanity.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I love honest opinions...

I have strong opinions about lots of things (ie, music, guitars, guitar amps, guitar effects pedals, food, drink, literature, movies, politics, religion, religious people, institutions, etc etc). I don't have a problem sharing my opinions on the blog world--if you don't want to hear them, then don't read this blog. And I don't have a problem sharing my opinions in the real world if someone asks--if you don't want an honest answer, then don't ask me.

Ergo, I loved reading this.

...or "Commentary on American Culture"

"Meet the Natives" is a fantastic show on the Travel Channel. When Brittany first told me she wanted to watch it a few weeks ago, I'll admit that I was a little leery. Sunday nights are pretty much the only time we sit down and watch TV together, so we don't waste it on crappy shows. When they're on, we ALWAYS watch "The Amazing Race" and "Desperate Housewives" and "Storm Chasers." So when Brit mentioned this show, I was concerned it wouldn't meet our high standards for Sunday night viewing. I was a little scared it would be poking fun at the Natives. I was wrong.

"Meet the Natives" is incredible. There are always great moments. These 5 men (the chief, the happy man, the head dancer, the medicine man, and the translator) from a tribe in Tanna are bought to America and stay with families for a week at a time. They started in Montana before moving on to New York, Illinois, California, Georgia, and finally DC. Each episode, they've shared one main message: they hope that Americans will stop their wars and be at peace with other people. They are bright, funny, and always interested in what's going on around them.

Instead of this show making fun of these men, these men make some of the most insightful comments on American culture and the American way of life. They aren't being critical--most of the time they are simply making observations among themselves and the closed-captioning translation at the bottom of the screen lets us (the viewers) in on what they're saying. But there have been several "wow" moments caused by the words of these five men from Tanna. This is probably my favorite:

Catch up on the episodes online--they're all posted on Youtube. The 2 hour finale is next Sunday night. It is well worth watching.

Monday, December 7, 2009

'Cause you are the devil and you are bad...

Glenn Beck might be the devil.

In between watching PTI on EPSN at the gym tonight, I would catch a minute or two of Glenn Beck's show. I don't watch any news talk shows on a regular basis (unless you count the Colbert Report or the Daily Show), much less Beck's hour of misinformation. But he's always interesting to check in on. Why? Because he's always do the same asinine things: slamming liberals, hating on the president, spreading misinformation, talking about how others create a climate of fear, and creating a climate of fear himself.

In tonight's show, he slammed all the people who spread the "lie" of global warming (like Al Gore and all the scientists meeting in Denmark right now) saying they're wasteful human beings and that they are spreading fear about climate change (that, according to him, doesn't exist).

He then goes on to talk about possible changes to our country's energy policies. You can watch the video if you'd like.

So he slams scientists who who are warning the world about climate change due to human wastes and such, then goes on to talk about how the country is going to go broke if we try to change our current energy systems. Isn't he doing the same thing he hates on others for doing?!?!? Of course he is. Why? Because people who watch his show don't care. Its called confirmation bias. People listen to what they want to listen to so they can reaffirm what they already believe. Nobody who watches Beck's show is going to question it.

My bigger problem with Beck's show is this: he's scaring people into not changing. If we don't acknowledge climate change, then there's no need to change the way we produce energy, or how excessive we live, or how much waste/pollution we produce. The problem with that is: if we don't change, how bad will it get until we realize its too late? How much of the earth will be ruined so it can't be healed? How many millions of people across the world will suffer due to the wasteful and excessive lives of Americans?

Glenn Beck might be the devil. Why? Because I'd venture to say that the majority of people who watch his show are either (a) conservative, (b) Christians, or (c) both. People are buying this garbage. People listen to Beck and take his word as truth. They eat it up. Its only going to further divide us as a people and make things worse.

If we refuse to acknowledge the need to change, so we don't change, then we're really screwing ourselves. Whole industries are going bankrupt. Pollution and waste are ruining our planet. Our energy consumption drives the need for energy produced from non-sustainable and bad sources. So instead of acknowledging the problem and seeking to rectify it by coming up with new ideas and new industries and new jobs and new processes, people like Beck want to keep the money and power where it us by scaring people into not changing.

So, for these reasons, and many more, I think Glenn Beck might be the devil.

After Psalm 137

We're still in Babylon but
We do not weep
Why should we weep?
We have forgotten
How to weep

We've sold our harps
And bought ourselves machines
That do our singing for us
And who remembers now
The songs we sang in Zion?

We have got used to exile
We hardly notice
Our captivity
For some of us
There are such comforts here
Such luxuries

Even a guard
To keep the beggars
From annoying us

We have forgotten you.

"After Psalm 137" by Anne Porter, from Living Things Collected Poems. © Zoland Books, 2006.